The Actuator 1.5: Borderlands Anthology – A delightful Fantasy/Sci-Fi Read


borderlands cover I was approached recently by Curiosity Quills Press to see if I would like to review a copy of The Actuator 1.5: Borderlands Anthology in exchange for an honest review.

I’m not a huge fan of science fiction, but I do love fantasy and this anthology promised to deliver a little bit of both, so I thought, what the heck and asked for them to send it on.   I’m glad I did as all the stories are really good and there is something between these covers for all sci-fi/fantasy fans.  Here’s a bit about the book:

The Actuator 1.5: Borderlands Anthology

Genre(s): Anthology, Action & Adventure, Alternative History, Cyberpunk, Dark Fantasy, Fairy Tales & Myths, Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Steampunk

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Publication: September 11, 2014

Cover Artist: Michelle Johnson at Blue Sky Design

Description: When the Actuator breaks the earth into a patchwork of altered realities, the remaining Machine Monks begin looking for the Keys to put it back. In the meantime, everyone in the world has been transformed without knowing why. This collection tells about some of the people struggling to deal with the change.  Read more here.

MY REVIEW

It is difficult for me to pinpoint which story I liked the most. Each one was written very well and were quite entertaining, and I enjoyed them all.

There is a common theme that runs through this anthology, and each one of the authors tweaked their characters and their settings around that theme.  It actually seems like each of the stories play off of each other in an odd way, almost as if one can’t exist without the other. I do think some of the stories could have been expanded. Some felt flat. Some ended abruptly. A few left me thinking “huh?”, but overall, it was a good anthology.

Some of my favorite stories were:

Remembering Emily by Sarah Wolf.  I love the author’s voice and descriptions. Beautiful imagery here and the story is vibrant.

Stolen Orchid by Matthew Cox is one of the coolest cyberpunk stories I’ve ever read and it also played with my emotions.

The Austenation by Mara Valdarran was pure brilliance though I do think there could have been a bit more conflict. Jane Austen fans…you’re going to LOVE this one.

Escape by Patrick Burdine gave me the creepy willies.  Seriously, don’t read this right before you go to bed.   Not a good idea.

Halfway by Jay Wilburn. Ok, so this story freaked me out. There are clowns and peculiar lighting and odd people. There’s an Edward Scissorhands feel to the story, and it left me feeling numb. Well-written and freaky creepy.

Fifteen Seconds of Fame by Jason A. Anderson. A great story of one woman’s decision to defy the mob and help a little girl find her mom. Fast moving with an enjoyable, satisfying ending.

These are only 6 out of 20 amazing and unique stories.  While I liked some better than others, I am sure everyone who loves these genres will find something to enjoy.

I give four stars to this anthology.  Thank you Curiosity Quills Press for providing me with a free copy of this anthology in exchange for an honest review.

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Find Online: Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

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13 reasons why you need Reading Glasses


In two days, my speculative short story, THE PASSING OF MILLIE HUDSON, will appear alongside 12 other speculative short stories in the anthology, #READINGGLASSES. Take a look below at the thirteen reasons why you absolutely, have to have READING GLASSES:

TALES OF FICTION INFUSED WITH THE FANTASTICAL

From the publishers of the popular Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey comes a mesmerizing compilation of new fiction. Suspenseful and mysterious, with a touch of ironic humor, Reading Glasses will transport you to the very edge of reality. From life on a space station to tales that orbit a little too close to home, Reading Glasses is a compelling, fantastical departure from the familiar.

1.  THE MALOCCHIO by Bruce Capoferri

A young man in old Italy falls victim to a devil in a blue dress in an original fairy tale, based on the legends of “the evil eye.”

2.  The Icarus Option by John Farquhar

An old man with a terminal illness, who feels he got life all wrong, wants to make sure that at least he gets death right. Joe Hill is tired of this life, where modern gadgets have removed all real fun, familiar buildings are crumbling, and art and tradition all but forgotten. The answer he is looking for may lie in an old painting, The Fall of Icarus, and a popular new business called Thanatos. It’s a comedy, but probably shouldn’t be.

3.  Starstruck by Gregg Feistmann

While living on a space station to try to forget the past, Aaron Kramer encounters an exotic woman determined to be a part of his future.  She offers him the opportunity of a lifetime – several lifetimes – in exchange for a seemingly simple promise.

4.  The Passing of Mille Hudson by J. Keller Ford

When elderly spinster, Millie Hudson, returns to her childhood home to attend her sister’s funeral, she encounters touching memories and ghosts from her past. It’s not until the family vultures descend to lay claim to the estate that Millie decides to teach them a valuable lesson:  sometimes it is the way we leave this life that matters more than how we live it.

5.  The Beach House by Christine L. Hardy

Under the threat of international warfare, a woman coming to terms with the death of dear friends learns that their disappearance was not as permanent as it appeared.

6.  Fox and the Rose  by Amy Holiday

A struggling musician has fended off his father’s calls to join his wealthy family’s business for years, and facing 30 with an uncertain financial future, it’s starting to look like a good idea. But an ancestor with an axe to grind against the “all work and no play” philosophy has other plans.

7.  The Highborn by K.A. Magrowski

A highborn priestess’ faith is tested when she learns that even those she trusts the most can betray everything she believes in. Will the Goddess answer her prayers or will the virgin priestess fall prey to the evil designs others have planned?

8.  Sifkin’s Fence by Ray Rebmann

A man seeking escape from mistakes he’s made in his personal life, happens upon a dried up bayside settlement that has unfinished business with its own tragic past. In seeking to unlock the secret behind the sorrowful condition of Shellbank, the man is shown a possible way to resolve his own problems.

9.  Mason, On His Way Home by Randy Ribay

A teenage boy’s family drama is no secret, and the judgment of outsiders is painful. One terrible day he rescues a tiny turtle, and soon discovers that a hard exterior isn’t the solution.

10.  The Hearing of Memory’s Voice by J.J. Steinfeld

“The Hearing of Memory’s Voice” is the story of Jack Zwick, an 81-year-old former Yiddish Theatre actor recovering from a stroke, who shares a room in a neurological ward in 1979 Toronto with two other men: a middle-aged computer salesman recovering from a blow to the head by his wife, and an amnesiac in his early twenties who has been severely beaten. The old actor, who can remember lines from only one play—Ansky’s The Dybbuk—of his long acting career, and the amnesiac develop a friendship as the old actor attempts to prepare the amnesiac for a role in The Dybbuk and doctors attempt to find out who he is.

11. Mrs. Rabinski by Richard Voza

After a terminal diagnosis, grumpy old Mrs. Rabinski spends her final days plotting revenge. And everything goes to plan, until a reversal of fortune finds her last wishes may not be as final as she had hoped.

12. Unquiet Mind by Jessica A. Walsh

Incapable of sleep and forced to hide her condition, a young woman wonders tirelessly about her past while yearning for the comfort of a life left behind.

13.  Reading Glasses by Neal Wooten

In a dystopian future where reading and writing are against the law, a lowly fringe dweller named Mat discovers a pair of glasses that proves that the publishing world is alive and well… and incognito. He is determined to become a professional author — even if it kills him.

Book reviewers are more than welcome.

You don’t have to be a professional book reviewer. All we want are avid book readers to read the anthology and leave your comments on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. If you are interested in reviewing the anthology, please contact:

Amy Hollinger | (609) 204.7078 | amy@hypotheticalpress.com

Purchase Links

Reading Glasses will be available September 24, 2014 in eBook and Paperback through Amazon.com, Smashwords, and CreateSpace. I will provide links as they become available.

Launch Party

As I live in Florida, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to attend the Launch Party, but I am trying to get there. For those of you in the South New Jersey area, you may wish to attend for a spectacular night of reading, mingling and eating the best chocolate chip cookies in all South Jersey.

When:   October 24, 2014
Time:    7:00 PM
Where:  Victorian Savories Bakery Cafe, Voorhees Town Center, Voorhees, NJ

Featuring: #Giveaways, readings, meet-the-authors, behind-the-scenes, South Jersey Writers’ Group member’s books, and of course, the cookies.

Hope you guys can be there. If not, at least please pick up your copy of READING GLASSES and snuggle in to a night of awesome speculative fiction reading.

The long road to publication


On August 23, 2013, I submitted a short story, The Passing of Millie Hudson, to a publisher suggested to me by a dear friend and author.

The story appeared once before in an anthology put out by a writers group I was in, but the antho didn’t do well.  In fact, I don’t even mention it in my publishing credits because it was one of those ‘vanity publishing’ things. Instead of me paying for inclusion, I was allowed to include it because I was the ‘editor’ of the anthology. (I use the term very loosely because I really wasn’t an editor; more like a gatherer of blurbs and excerpts of unfinished novels).  It was one of those morale booster things the writer’s group did so writers could see their name in print and hopefully give them incentive to keep writing.  I have positive and negative thoughts on the experience, but that’s neither here nor there.  The thing is, I always thought Millie Hudson needed a home.  A real home where she would fit in and her story could be told the way it should have been all along.

When I found out about this particular publishing arm of the South Jersey Writer’s Group, Hypothetical Press, I sent Millie Hudson in with a hope and a prayer.  Yes, it’s another Writer’s Group, but SJWG is well-known, has a huge following, and some authors you might recognize are members.  It has a great reputation, and its previous anthology did very well in sales.  Plus they are huge in getting the word out there about its authors.  All of these were great pluses for me: reputation, word-of-mouth, awesome exposure.  All things important to an author.

On December 16, 2013, four months after submission, I received my congratulations letter from Hypothetical Press.  They LOVED my story.  I cried.  My lovely Millie Hudson found a forever home.  I later found out there were close to 80 submissions for the anthology and only 13 were chosen.  1 in 7 odds.  I’m happy.

There will be more info about the authors included, the titles of their stories, blog tours, etc., but for now, after a year of waiting, I’m happy to reveal:

Coming August 19, 2014

from Hypothetical Press

 

I can’t wait to share my story, The Passing of Millie Hudson with you.  I am thrilled beyond words to see this story in its final, wonderful resting spot.  Thank you Hypothetical Press (Amy and Jessica) for your passion and dedication to producing a fabulous anthology, and for your love and belief in my story.

More to come on this folks, so stay tuned!!

 

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If Only I Had One More Day…


ONE MORE DAY author, Kimberly Kay, joins us today to answer a question I’ve asked of all the anthology authors:

If there was a moment you could freeze in time forever, what would that moment be?

Kimberly’s answer will put time in perspective and break your heart.

Kimberly, my blog is all yours.

***

If I had to take one moment in my life to freeze and display to all the world, which would I select? That’s a tough question, particularly because my answer is on the tragic, rather than joyful, end of the scale. I would select the moment I learned one of the people I most admired had commuted suicide.

It was the day after I found out that my submission to this anthology was accepted. Looking at the text on my phone, I sat down on a desk as the waves of shock washed over me. I thought, “What was I doing last night, when he died? I learned that I’d made it into “One More Day”. One more day. If only I had one more day. If only HE had one more day.” The moment where I dropped to my knees on the floor and shattered?

THAT’S the moment I would display to everyone so that, hopefully, someone out there who was considering suicide would realize that they should not go through with it. They have a purpose. They have a place in this world that will never be filled should they leave. And most importantly, they are loved. Maybe by someone they aren’t even aware of. I don’t think this friend realized how much he meant to me and the rest of our fencing club, or to his friends and family. Long have I wished that he had indicated he needed help instead of quietly slipping away. I wish we could have–not just one–but many more days to spend with him. Most importantly, I wish he’d realized that more than anything, he could have saved himself by loving himself, trusting himself, and believing in himself. Instead, we who are left behind must spread that message to others, and help them realize they are valued. That’s why my piece in the anthology is dedicated to this friend, Tyler. Because, though, I can no longer show him he is loved, I can at least promise he will never be forgotten.

***

Kimberly, my heart breaks for you.  I am so sorry to hear about Tyler.  I pray for his family’s and your healing.  May your words touch someone else so another family and friends do not have to endure such overwhelming loss.

In honor of Tyler, I hope you decide to read a copy of Kimberly’s story, Sleepless Beauty.  I’ve included links below, or you can enter to win a copy through the Rafflecopter Giveaway.  Whatever you decide to do, please make sure you visit all of Kimberly’s location on the web and say hi and wish her well.

When Kimberly was younger, she was incredibly timid. She didn’t talk much because she was afraid of what others would think of her. Instead, she expressed herself through drawing. Eventually, art alone wasn’t enough. There were some things she couldn’t express with pencils, so she began talking, and when she did, she realized she had something to say. Now no one can get her to shut up! Worse, she’s discovered she can put those words into writing to share what she has to say with even more people.

Kimberly writes short stories and novels—usually fantasy fairytale retellings. Scattered within her works are things she loves: horses, fencing, archery, and so much more. With her friends, she writes fun fan-fiction that expands her creativity, (and shows what a nerd she is).

Through writing, she has found confidence and freedom.

Website        Twitter     Goodreads

 

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AMAZON – PAPERBACK     AMAZON – KINDLE     BARNES & NOBLE 

KOBO

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“ONE MORE DAY” – A Review


As one of the authors in J. Taylor Publishing’s new YA anthology, ONE MORE DAY, I had the pleasure of reading the ARC and I have to say, I am quite honored to be a part of this anthology.  There is a lot of talent to be found in this anthology set to release on December 2, 2013 in both e-book and paperback.  (yay! Paperback!!!)

My review of the anthology is below.  Why don’t you add it to your “TBR” list and find out what all the talk is about.  🙂

“Time Piece” by Anna Simpson

I thought when I first started reading this I would be lost and confused, but boy, was I wrong. This was a delightful, rhythmic, ‘groundhog day’ tale with a perfect ending. Truly delightful and a great start to the anthology.

“Dark Rose” by Marissa Halvorson

Ever wonder what would happen if two universes collided? Ms. Halvorson provides an answer in this out of the ordinary tale where time weaves and distorts. I thought the story needed more explanation as I felt confused in places, yet at the same time, that fuzzy, disjointed feel is what makes this story unique and gripping.

“Dragon Flight” by J. Keller Ford

This is my own story and I can’t comment other than saying I had a blast writing this. Thank you J. Taylor Publishing for believing in the story and including it in One More Day.

“The 13th Month” by L.S. Murphy 

Wow, this story is just too cool, and heartbreaking. What a fantastic read. There is a similar Harry Potter-ish prophecy going on but the outcome was not what I expected. My only complaint is that this story could have been longer as the finale seemed sort of rushed and not completely explained. I did, however, enjoy the ending and the MCs resolve. Great characterization of the MC.

“Sleepless Beauty” by Kimberly Kay

This was probably my favorite out of all the stories. I just really loved the whole retelling of this fairy tale story. The tale was fun, fast-paced and had me grinning a lot. Though the ending was predictable, I enjoyed it so much I read it twice.

“Stage Fright” by Erika Beebe

I really enjoyed the premise behind this story and I believe many of us can relate to the MCs fears and pressures of wanting to fit in in high school. Who hasn’t had to face the snobbish girl and more importantly, their own self doubt? This story blends past experiences with new ones and delves into how one event can change everything we believe about ourselves. Though difficult at times to follow, I love the way Ms. Beebe dives into the human psyche and gives our MC the option of being victim or victor. If you were ever in the drama club in school, you’ll like this story.

“A Morrow More” by Danielle E. Shipley

This is a fantastic fantasy story with great characters and world-building. I enjoyed the twist and turn, especially the dragon. I felt the ending was a bit abrupt, but this could be attributed to only have so many words to tell the tale. This, unfortunately, is one of the pitfalls of writing short stories. Though I would have loved to have seen this tale go on for a bit more, I was quite pleased with this piece and will definitely check out other works by this author.

 

OneMoreDay-cover-pb-paper What if today never ends?

What if everything about life—everything anyone hoped to be, to do, to experience—never happens?

Whether sitting in a chair, driving down the road, in surgery, jumping off a cliff or flying … that’s where you’d be … forever.

Unless …

In One More Day, Erika Beebe, Marissa Halvorson, Kimberly Kay, J. Keller Ford, Danielle E. Shipley and Anna Simpson join L.S. Murphy to give us their twists, surprising us with answers to two big questions, all from the perspective of characters under the age of eighteen.

How do we restart time?

How do we make everything go back to normal?

The answers, in whatever the world—human, alien, medieval, fantasy or fairytale—could,maybe, happen today.

Right now.

What would you do if this happened … to you?

 

What if…?


I woke up at 4:00 this morning with the most awesome idea for a short story in my head.  It’s slated for a new anthology J. Taylor Publishing plans to publish the end of this year.  I had started one a week or so ago but after this morning’s epiphany, the other one is outta here.  It’s so strong in my head, I think I might actually have it written by the end of the weekend.  I’m really, really excited about it!

For those of you who don’t know, my short story, THE AMULET OF ORMISEZ, was published by J. Taylor in their 2012 winter anthology, MAKE BELIEVE.  But, just because I was published once by them doesn’t mean I’m a shoo in for the next.  I still have to write a damn good story and submit like everyone else.  This time, though, I’m not as scared.  I’ve been the route before.  I know what to expect.  I am very, very excited about this one.

So, what’s it all about?  Can you write and submit a story, too?  You betcha!  J. Taylor opened up submissions for the anthology on December 6.  The stories all have to be Young Adult in genre and they have to follow the following prompt (from J. Taylor’s website):

What if tomorrow didn’t happen?

What if today never ended?
What if you were 18, about to start your life and everything you’d ever hoped to be, to do, to experience …
could never be yours?
If you sat in a chair, that’s where you’d be …
If you were driving down the road, that’s where you’d be …
If you were in surgery
or jumping off a cliff
or flying …
that’s where you’d be … forever.
Unless …

In this YA anthology, give us the twist, surprise us with the most amazing answer to restart time.

Tell us what happens as you feel the stop, as you feel the shift, as you realize, you know how to make everything go back to normal.

What would that normal be?

What would you do …

if you had the power to restart the world?

One More Day, our winter 2013 anthology, will feature Young Adult short stories based off the prompt above. No matter the setting, no matter the characters, something in the prompt above must influence the writing, the characters, the scene … the story.

Want to find out more?  Click here for all the stellar details.

 

Summer Blogging Schedule


After much deliberation, I’ve decided to cut my blogging schedule back to two days a week – Monday and Thursday.

I have three novels in the works, one with a deadline of August 31, and another with a deadline of September 30 (might be pushing that one).  I’m also preparing for an exciting YA Author blog takeover happening here on July 22 – 30.  Mark your calendars; it’s going to be fantastic!  There is also marketing I need to do for MAKE BELIEVE, which includes my short story, THE AMULET OF ORMISEZ.

I do plan to read a lot over the summer, so there may be a few book reviews posted on off days.  Keep an eye out for my next review of Veronica Roth’s INSURGENT.

So, there you have it.  Enjoy your weekend and I’ll see you on Monday.

The wait is over…the news is…(continued)


Okay, in case you didn’t know (or read, or hear my squeals of delight), I signed a contract with J. Taylor Publishing for my short story, THE AMULET OF ORMISEZ to be featured in their MAKE BELIEVE anthology.  I am so excited.  Authors, Jennifer M. Eaton, Terri Rochenski, Kelly Said, Lynda R. Young, will also appear alongside headline author, J.A. Belfield.  Please pop over to their websites and congratulate them.  Entries were received from all over the world and I am thrilled to be one of the authors chosen.

So how did this all happen?

In January, 2012, J. Taylor posted a notice on their website they were accepting submissions until April 12 for their upcoming anthology, MAKE BELIEVE.  I chatted it up with friend and beta reader to find out if she was interested in entering anything.  The submission had to be based on a photo prompt J. Taylor provided, and they were pretty particular about what they didn’t want.  After staring at the picture for a bit, I remembered I had a story in a box under my bed I thought might work.  I decided what the heck and took on the challenge.

I pulled out the oldie but realized within a few days it wasn’t going to work.  I couldn’t make the story do what I needed it to do.  Back in the box it went.  Now what?  I stared at the writing prompt.  February went by, not a word written.  Sometime in March my brain kicked in and I couldn’t stop writing the story. The first half flowed so easily.  It was if Elton Fletcher chose me to tell his story…

Then I hit a road block.  How was I going to end it?  I had the characters.  I had the conflict, I knew what I needed to do to resolve it…but I couldn’t make the characters do it.  Even as I wrote the last half, it felt forced, unnatural, and my betas agreed with me…completely.

Two weeks before deadline and I finally come up with something.  I scribbled, revised, revised and scribbled and I submitted on April 4.  Within a day I received an e-mail from the publisher.  Would I be willing to make changes based on their suggestions?  I looked at what they wanted.  Yes.  I could do it.  I had less than a week.  Easy, right?

No.  My brain froze.  The clock was ticking.  The days were passing by and I couldn’t write.  I sat down with my MC, Elton, and had a talk.  Finally, after several days of back and forths with my betas, I put “The End” on it and re-submitted The Amulet of Ormisez in the wee hours of April 11.  And the waiting began again.

Several days later I received an e-mail from the publisher.  They wanted clarification on some issues.  Would I be willing to clarify?  They needed to know.  They had narrowed the field to eight.  They could only take five.  They needed an answer.  I said yes.  Once again, I had to play the waiting game.  I tried writing on my manuscripts to take the edge off, but I have to tell you, the waiting was agonizing!

But so worth it in the end.

The e-mail came with a huge “Congratulations!  You’ve been selected!”  I about fell out of my chair.  I still can’t believe it.  A publisher chose my work out of many to feature in their anthology.  It blows my mind.  My words.  My thoughts. My story.  Shared with the world.  It is such an honor.  Thank you, God. Thank you, family.  Thank you J. Taylor Publishing for the chance.

I have since had the opportunity to read blurbs for each one of the selected pieces and they are all fantastic!  I can’t wait to see it all come together.  I’ve also had the first peek at the cover and it’s amazing.  Come May 21, I’ll be able to share it with you so stay tuned.

The official press release for the MAKE BELIEVE anthology is below.  I still can’t believe my name is in there.  Wow.  Cheers to all you writers out there.  Here’s to the dream.  If I can do it, so can you. Don’t give up.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Make Believe Anthology authors revealed!

Five authors to be featured with J.A. Belfield in Make Believe Anthology from J. Taylor Publishing.

Apex, NC – March 9, 2012 – On December 3, 2012, J. Taylor Publishing will release Make Believe, an anthology of six short stories, ranging from contemporary romance to fantasy, written based on a photo prompt with a wintry setting and a woman in red.

“A photo prompt is one way to stir the imagination. As is evidenced by the six selected entries, each author brings a unique perspective, as well as to the twists and conflicts used to push the main characters one way or another,” says J. Taylor Publishing. “These difference, the broad range of ideas and writing style of each author determined their selection for the anthology.”

The anthology will open with Terri Rochenski’s Sacrificial Oath, a story of self sacrifice. J. Keller Ford’sThe Amulet of Ormisez will follow—a story of success in failure. From there, Birthright by Australian author Lynda R. Young will delve into secrets revealed. Kelly Said returns to this anthology withPetrified, taking the reader on a journey of finding one’s purpose. Last Winter Red by Jennifer M. Eaton finds us in a post-apocalyptic world where not all is as it seems. Rounding out the anthology is our headline author, J.A. Belfield, author of Darkness & Light and the to-be-released Blue Moon, withEscort to Insanity.

“While J.A. deviates from the Holloway Pack with her short story, her characters are just as engaging and full of the paranormal, and we’re excited to have a return anthology author as well. In choosing the stories, we looked for diversity, unique and intriguing stories and solid writing. In this set of authors, we found it,” says J.Taylor Publishing, adding, “In fact, the stories are as different as the authors themselves.”

About J. A. Belfield

One day, a character and scene popped into J. A. Belfield’s head, and she started controlling the little people inside her imagination as though she were the puppet master and they her toys. Questions arose: What would happen if …? How would they react if …? Who would they meet if …? Before she knew it, a singular scene had become an entire movie. The characters she controlled began to hold conversations. Their actions reflected the personalities she bestowed upon them. Within no time, they had a life, a lover, a foe, family … they had Become.

One day, she wrote down her thoughts. She’s yet to stop.

J. A. Belfield lives in Solihull, England, with her husband, two children, three cats, and a dog. She writes paranormal romance with a second love for urban fantasy.

About Jennifer M. Eaton

Corporate Team Leader by day, and Ranting Writer by night. Jennifer M. Eaton calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle.

Jennifer hosts an informational blog “A Reference of Writing Rants for Writers (or Learn from My Mistakes)” aimed at helping all writers be the best they can be.

Beyond writing and motivating others, she also enjoys teaching her dog to jump through hoops—literally.

Jennifer’s perfect day includes long hikes in the woods, bicycling, swimming, snorkeling, and snuggling up by the fire with a great book; but her greatest joy is using her over-active imagination constructively … creating new worlds for everyone to enjoy.

About J. Keller Ford

J. Keller Ford is a quirky mother of four, grand-mother and scribbler of young adult fantasy tales. She has an insatiable appetite for magic, dragons, knights and faeries, and weaves at least one into every story she conceives. Her muse is a cranky old meadow gnome that follows her everywhere she goes and talks incessantly, feeding her ideas for stories 24/7.

When she’s not writing or blogging, the former Corporate Paralegal enjoys listening to smooth jazz, collecting seashells, swimming, bowling, riding roller coasters and reading. Jenny lives minutes from the beaches of the west coast of Florida with her husband of twenty years, her two sons and a pair of wacky cats and three silly dogs. The pets have trained her well.

About Terri Rochenski

Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with the fantasy genre.

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her two young daughters allow. When not potty training or kissing boo-boos, she can be found on her back patio in the boondocks of New Hampshire, book or pencil in hand.

About Kelly Said

Kelly enjoys life near the foothills of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, in a city a mile closer to the sun than most. When she’s not hanging out with her Mr. S, binge reading on the weekends, or being pressed for playtime by the wet nose of her beefy bull terrier, she can be found tucked away in a quiet spot, huddled over her laptop, writing stories for young adults.

About Lynda R. Young

Lynda lives in Sydney, Australia, with her sweetheart of a husband who is her rock, and a cat who believes world domination starts in the home. Lynda has an adventurous spirit and has traveled the world.

As a chaser of dreams, she found success as a digital artist and an animator, and now as a writer of speculative short stories. She currently writes novels for young adults.

In her spare time she also dabbles in photography and all things creative.

The cover for Make Believe, and short summaries for each story, will release on May 21, 2012.

About the Publisher

J. Taylor Publishing is an Independent Publisher who, thanks to the Internet, has a worldwide reach. Our debut authors are in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The company produces print and electronic books. For more information about J. Taylor Publishing, please visit www.jtaylorpublishing.com.

The wait is over…and the decision is…


After all the hard work…after all the hours staring at a picture trying to come up with something to fit…after writing like a fiend to finish a short story by the deadline, I finally heard back from the publisher.

I saw the e-mail in my in-box.  The butterflies in my belly took flight.  I clicked.

Tears swelled in my eyes.  I couldn’t believe it.  The news wasn’t good.  It wasn’t good at all.  It was…

GREAT!

Yes!  I made it!  J. Taylor Publishing accepted my short story, “The Amulet of Ormisez”, for their Make Believe anthology!  Come December 2012, I can call myself a real, published author!

Pardon me while I have  “Lucy” moment!!!!

OMG!  I don’t believe it.  My dream came true.  A publisher picked my story, along with 5 others, out of a sea of many.  *Fans self*.  I can’t believe it.  *wipes tears*.

Oh, I’ve had things published before…newspaper articles, some shorts and poems in a college magazine a long time ago.  I even self-published some poems and a short story a couple of years ago, but this is the first time a real publisher has said “We want your story.”

I’m in shock.  Thank you God.  Thank you.

I’ll post more when the shock wears off and I can wipe this silly grin from my face.  I’m shaking.  Someone pinch me, please.